10 Things to Know About Owning a Cat

This video takes a look at 10 things to know about owning a cat with a focus on kittens. The video is enhanced with great clips of their 2 cats. The video includes good examples of ways to make your house bet suited for your cat. And some advice on how to keep you and your cat happy.

Related: Puzzle Feeders for CatsHow to Train Your Cat to Walk with a LeashHow to Give Your Cat a Pill

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How to Train Your Cat to Walk with a Leash

To train your cat to walk on a leash first get them used to the harness. Give them positive feelings about wearing the harness (while they wear it: give them treats, play with them, pet them). Get them use to moving with the harness (consider using the clicker technique). Slowly build up their confidence (don’t try to push through too fast).

It takes a bit of patience but cats can learn to walk with a leash and to enjoy doing so.

Related: More Simple Thoughts on How to Train CatsTrain Your Cat to Use Your ToiletTeaching a Kitten How to Play Nice with People

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Simple Thoughts on How to Train Cats

Take advantage of cats natural curiosity to entertain them and bond with them. All cats have different personalities “it is important to pay attention to your not and not push them to do something they don’t want to do.”

Related: Train Your Cat to Use Your ToiletTeaching a Kitten How to Play Nice with PeoplePuzzle Feeders for Cats

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Gentle and Effective Way to Tame a Scared Feral Kitten

This is a great video on taming a feral kitten to be comfortable with people. This is part 1 of 4 parts.

Related: Teaching a Kitten How to Play Nice with PeopleTrain Your Cat to Use Your ToiletTips for Feeding Your Cat

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Why Do Cats Do That?

Fun look at the evolutionary pressures that explain some of the behaviors your cat engages in. While those behaviors can see odd inside your house there are often reasonable explanations for why the instinct driving such behaviors evolved in cats.

Related: The History of Domestic CatsWhy Do Cats Love Boxes?The Evolution of House CatsScience Facts About Cats

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The History of Domestic Cats

An informative video from the good series, SciShow:

It discusses several points I have read previously, such as:

Origins of the Domestic Cat

the progenitors of today’s cats split from their wild counterparts more than 100,000 years ago – much earlier than once thought…
The earliest archaeological evidence of cat domestication dates back 9,500 years, when cats were thought to have lived alongside humans in settlement sites in Cyprus.

Related: Genetic Research Suggests Cats ‘Domesticated Themselves’The Evolution of House CatsDomestic Cats Should Have More Food in Winter

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Cat Alerts Family if Diabetic Daughter is in Danger

photo of Mia her cat Pippa

Mia and her wonderful cat Pippa via GoodNews

RSPCA Rescue Cat Makes Sure Diabetic Owner Is Feline Fine

Pippa’s incredible gift came to light when she crept into Mia’s room and woke her up in the middle of the night prompting the schoolgirl to test her blood sugar levels which showed they were dangerously low.

And when Pippa couldn’t get into the schoolgirl’s room to check she was feline fine, the persistent puss woke up her mum, Laura instead.

Mrs Jansa said: “We quickly realised she was warning us. If Mia didn’t wake up, then she would come to my door and miaow. She comes onto the bed, walks onto my pillow and across me until I wake up. She really makes her presence felt, she won’t take no for an answer. She knows it’s important that I get up and help Mia.”

Mia has type one diabetes, an incurable condition, which she manages by regularly testing her blood sugar levels and injecting herself with insulin. She was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 6 when her parents were concerned that she was eating more than before but not putting on weight.

Mia tests her blood sugar levels between four and six times a day. If her blood sugar levels drop dangerously low she can experience a hypoglycemic episode which could lead to a coma.

As the article says dogs have been trained to detect and warn of dangerously low blood sugar, and many other things, but cats have not.

Here are more instances of cats alerting people to dangerous blood sugar levels: Cat Glucose Monitor?, Rare Cat Tests Diabetic for Low Blood Sugar.

I am a cat person, no surprise, but I do find service dogs to be awesome. It would be wonderful if we could get more service cats. Though even with my innate cat bias I must admit I am not so hopeful for a huge increase in the number of service cats.

Some cats are used to make people more comfortable with emotional support which is nice but I think stretches the definition of “service animal” to a point at which it is meaningless. Yes, animals that make people more comfortable are wonderful but calling them service animals is pretty silly.

You might as well call dropping a baby in someone’s lap a couple times a day is a service worker. But it isn’t. It would be helpful for many people and even extremely helpful, but that doesn’t make the act an act of service.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask Your Vet About Cat MedicationsWhy Do Cats Love Boxes?Train Your Cat to Use Your Toilet

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Puzzle Feeders for Cats

Cats evolved to hunt for food. And given how many birds, chipmunks, bunnies, mice etc. outdoor cats catch (and sometimes bring back home) they haven’t lost those instincts. They also sometimes stalk us, thankfully that usually doesn’t result in any serious damage.

It isn’t uncommon, however, for our cats to become too sedentary and put on an unhealthy amount of weight. One way to encourage some activity is with puzzle feeders. These also let you reduce food while also giving some extra food they can get with more effort.

This webcast shows an example of a simple puzzle feeder you can make yourself. There are also many available for purchase including: Trixie Mad Scientist for Cats, Catit Design Senses Treat Maze and Egg Cersizer Interactive Toy and Food Dispenser.

Related: Giving Your Cat Fresh Water from a FountainHow to Give Your Cat a Pillthe Robotic Ball You Control with Your Smart Phone (Sphero)

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Music Specifically Composed for Cats

Cats like music. But, like people, they want music composed for them, not some other species.

You may purchase music for your cats (from the company that made the samples included here).

Our music is based on feline vocal communication and environmental sounds that pique the interest of cats; it is written in a musical language that is uniquely designed to appeal to the domestic cat. All of the music is recorded on traditional instruments and the human voice. No actual cat, mouse, or bird calls are used (although it may sound like it). The songs are written in three different styles – each song style is designed to convey and evoke a particular mood

Kitty ditties are playful and quick

The cat ballad should be restful and pleasing for your kitty.

Feline airs draws sympathetic emotions from the listener based on the sounds of cats purring.

David Teie developed and outlined the first comprehensive theory that attempts to explain the cognitive processes involved in our appreciation of music. Working with Charles T. Snowdon at the University of Wisconsin, they studied the affect of David’s species-specific music on cotton-topped tamarin monkeys, resulting in the first controlled study that demonstrated significant and appropriate responses to music from any species other than human.

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Why Do Cats Love Boxes?

On of YouTube’s most important functions is to illustrate how much cats like boxes. But why do cats love to sit in boxes?

What’s Up With That: Why Do Cats Love Boxes So Much?

Like many other really weird things cats do, science hasn’t fully cracked this particular feline mystery. There’s the obvious predation advantage a box affords: Cats are ambush predators, and boxes provide great hiding places to stalk prey from (and retreat to). But there’s clearly more going on here.

rather than work things out, cats are more inclined to simply run away from their problems or avoid them altogether. A box, in this sense, can often represent a safe zone, a place where sources of anxiety, hostility, and unwanted attention simply disappear.

According to a 2006 study by the National Research Council, the thermoneutral zone for a domestic cat is 86 to 97 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the range of temperatures in which cats are “comfortable” and don’t have to generate extra heat to keep warm or expend metabolic energy on cooling. That range also happens to be 20 degrees higher than ours,

Cardboard is a great insulator and the small space can warm up above the room temperature.

Of course these explanations don’t answer why cats like to site inside tape outlines on the floor.

Research is wonderful but cats often seem to be so far beyond our beyond our ability to understand we are left to just love them. It is enough to know that your cats will love the boxes you give them and tape outlines you draw on the floor – unless, of course, they don’t.

Related: Why Do Cats Knead Us?How attached cats are to their owners?Train Your Cat to Use Your Toilet

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